The Exponential Growth of Classical Christian Education

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | January 9, 2017

On a Monday morning 17 years ago, Russ Gregg quit his job because of a sermon he’d heard the day before about “venturing something for God that’s a little bit crazy.”

So he left his position as development director for a Christian school in one of Minneapolis’s wealthiest suburbs in order to launch a classical Christian school in one of the city’s poorest, most violent neighborhoods.

Without teachers, parents, a building, or financial support, Gregg was determined to love his neighbors as he loved himself. So he sought to give them the best education he could think of—a school like the one his own kids attended.

Seventeen years later, Hope Academy has grown from 35 students in a church basement to 500 students in a seven-story school building. Among Hope’s five classes to date, 99 percent of students have graduated. In fact, almost every graduate (95 percent) was accepted at two- or four-year colleges, with a few receiving full-ride scholarships to private liberal arts colleges.

“This is in a community where half of my neighbors aren’t even graduating from high school,” Gregg said. “The ones who do graduate read at an eighth-grade level.”

Even better, Gregg has also seen “promising fruit” among students in their desire to follow Christ.


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